C. Nyandat

Kisumu Medical and Education Trust, Kenya

Title: Community health volunteer's involvement in cervical cancer screening and treatment in kisumu county Kenya


Globally, cervical cancer is estimated at 530,000 new cases in 2012, and 7.5% of all female cancer deaths (WHO, 2006). More than 270,000 deaths occur every year, and 85% in less developed regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, 34.8 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually, and 22.5/100,000 women die (WHO, 2006). Kenya has a screening rate of 3.2%; and cervical cancer prevalence has not been established (DHIS2; 2015). Community Health Volunteers (CHV) are required to create demand for screening in the community and capture this in the Ministry of Health (MOH) reporting tools.
KMET implements a cervical cancer project dubbed ‘See and Treat’ in Kisumu County to decrease the overall incidence rate of cervical cancer. The objectives are to screen women between the ages of 24 to 49 with 100% patient participation in thermo coagulation treatment and/or follow-up treatment and identify, strengthen deficits within the already established “See & Treat” clinics and achieve operational sustainability for cancer management in Kisumu County.
The County Health Management team identified 5 Primary Health Care facilities for the implementation of the Test and treat project in Kisumu County. Facility entries and team engagement were clarified, and service providers were trained on cervical cancer screening and treatment. The community health volunteers (CHVs) were identified and trained as cancer screening demand champions in cancer messaging and reaching women using the see-and-ask model. The trained 22 CHVs were equipped with education job aids a support system put in place to build their knowledge and a formal referral system continuously.
In the year 2023, 6,508 women were screened in five Primary Health Care facilities. 1,791 women were referred by community Health Promoters for cervical screening a contribution of 28 % of (6,508) total clients screened in the five PHC facilities. 63 were positive and were treated by thermo coagulation treatment 34 were referred to consultants for further management.
CHVs are key in the community, it’s time to invest in them as the first preventive machinery.
The Ministry of Health should include HPV testing in the community health promoter’s kit.
Data on cases identified and referrals made by community health promoters should be mainstreamed into the Ministry of Health data collection portals.